May 21, 2012 – On May 22 the J. Willard Marriott Library’s Special Collections Department (University of Utah) will receive the Best of State Award in the category of “Educational Institution or Service.”
Special Collections is a highly respected collection that attracts students, researchers and scholars from far and wide. The department collects and preserves materials such as books, periodicals, manuscripts, photographs, films, and original materials documenting the history of Utah, the Mormons, and the West. Additionally, it contains the Aziz S. Atiya Middle East Library – one of the largest of its kind in the world – as well as the University of Utah archives.
Special Collections’ strong outreach efforts bring to life the unique and intriguing materials it contains. Programs such as the Book Arts Program, the Red Butte Press, and Rare Books Presentations touch thousands of U students, K-12 schools, and the general public. In 2011 the Book Arts Program received the Mayor’s Award for Service to the Arts by an Organization.
Special Collections holdings are often rare and valuable, and therefore they don’t circulate. However, materials are available to the public through the George S. Eccles Special Collections Reading Room on level 4 and many collections have been digitized and can be viewed through the library’s online catalogue.
The collections and expertise of the Rare Books Division in the “history of the book” and “information technology” have been extensively employed in the development and teaching of a variety of courses at the U. In 2011 alone the rare books curator gave 58 lectures to 1,500 people using 1,700 pieces from the collections. The strength of this program supports a multi-state region, often tapped by Westminster College, Salt Lake Community College, Snow College, Brigham Young University and universities in neighboring states.
In 2007 Special Collections received the Board of State History award for “Outstanding Contribution.”
For more information, go to http://www.lib.utah.edu/collections/special-collections/index.php or call 801-581-8863.